Local 591 EAP / Member Assistance
Credit IAM EAP, LAP
May Edition 2020
May is Mental illness Awareness Month
(excerpts from SAMHSA.gov)
Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional (acute) or long-lasting (chronic) and affect how you relate to others and function each day.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, re- late to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. A person diagnosed with a mental illness can also experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.
Why is mental health important for overall health?
Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. Mental illness, especially depression, increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic physical conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.
Can your mental health change over time?
Yes, it’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for an ill relative or experiencing economic hardship they may experience poor mental health.
What causes mental illness?
There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as
• Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for ex- ample, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.).
• Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as cancer or diabetes.
•Biological factors, such as genes or chemical imbalances in the brain.
• Use of alcohol or recreational drugs.
• Having few friends.
• Feeling of loneliness or isolation.
Mental Illness Resources
(excerpts from mayoclinic.org)
- Get treatment. Even though you may be reluctant to admit you need treatment, treatment can provide relief by identifying what's wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.
- Don't let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Stigma doesn't just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who have mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.
- Don't isolate yourself. If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your needs. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.
- Don't equate yourself with your illness. You are not an illness. So instead of saying "I'm bipolar," say "I have bipolar disorder." Instead of calling yourself "a schizophrenic," say "I have schizophrenia."
- Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and programs on the internet. There are also many state and federal agencies/programs that offer support for people with mental illness. Look on USA.gov. for more.
- Speak out against mental illness stigma. Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.
Sources for Credible Outbreak- Related Health Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
1-800- CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) https://www .cdc.gov
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-974-3000 http://www .who.int/en
May Monthly Observances
Asthma Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness
Arthritis Awareness Month
Benefits and you
Spending Account Contributions
You can contribute through payroll deduction up to $2,700 in 2020 in your LPFSA. A minimum annual election amount of $120 is required to complete enrollment.
Following your first payroll deposit, the full amount of your elected LPFSA amount for the entire year is available for your use, regardless of the actual balance in your account.
Deadline to Incur Claims
For your 2020 LPFSA, you have until December 31, 2020 to incur eligible claims and until June 15, 2021to request reimbursement.
$500 Carryover of Remaining Account Balance
If you have a LPFSA in 2020, the Plan allows you to carryover up to $500 of any amount remaining unused in your 2020 LPFSA as of the end of the 2020 Plan Year. Such carryover amount may be used to pay or reimburse medical expenses incurred during all of2021. Any unused amount of more than $500 remaining in your 2020 LPFSA at the end of the 2020 will be forfeited.
If you were a participant in the CORE Medical Benefit Option in the prior Plan Year and you do not elect to participate in the CORE Medical Benefit Option for the current Plan Year, and you have a remaining balance from the previous Plan Year in your LPFSA, the remaining balance from the previous Plan Year (of up to $500) will be credited to a HCFSA for you. For example, if you are enrolled in the CORE Medical Benefit Option in year one, and have a LPFSA balance of $400, and you elect the STANDARD Medical Benefit Option in year two, $400 will be credited to a HCFSA for you, even if you do not elect to enroll in a HCFSA.
If you elect to participate in the CORE Medical Benefit Option for a Plan Year and have a remaining balance from the prior Plan Year from your HCFSA, the remaining balance from the previous Plan Year (of up to $500) will be credited to a LPFSA for you, even if you do not elect to enroll in a LPFSA. For example, if you were enrolled in the HIGH COST Coverage Medical Benefit Option in year one, and you have a HCFSA balance of $300, and you elect the CORE Medical Benefit Option in year two, $300 will be credited to a LPFSA for you, even if you do not elect to enroll in a LPFSA.
If you experience a Qualifying Event (as described in the COBRA chapter), your LPFSA terminates. As described in the COBRA chapter, you may elect to continue your LPFSA as part of your COBRA continuation of coverage options, for the remainder of the calendar year in which you became eligible for continuation of coverage. In addition, the Plan allows you to carryover up to $500 of any amount remaining in your LPFSA as of the end of the calendar year in which you became eligible for continuation of coverage. Such carryover amount may be used to pay or reimburse medical expenses incurred during the maximum duration of the COBRA continuation period (i.e. 18, 29, or 36 months, as applicable). Any unused amount of more than $500 remaining in your HCFSA at the end of the calendar year in which you became eligible for continuation of coverage will be forfeited.
As Stated before with the aging workforce and the threat of death from the covid-19 please be prepared for an unfortunate and untimely death, for the EAP/MAP team to assist your beneficiary in an effective and timely way please complete the Bereavement Checklists available on Local591.com EAP/MAP link.